CONDITIONS .According to the figures of Capeb, the first quarter of 2017 is the continuation of the recovery initiated in the last year. Earnings growth, which timidly begin to have effects on employment in the crafts. Markets, order, cash, employment… check out the numbers.
The recovery that started in early 2016 continues, as evidenced by the figures of the activity published by the Confederation of Craft and Small business of the building (Capeb) April 28, 2017, for the first quarter of 2017. Thus, the overall activity of the sector was up 1.5% in the first three months of the year 2017. An improvement in scope including new construction, which rose 2.5% in volume (compared to the same period a year ago). “A dynamism that is expected to continue, “said Capeb, which recalls the 13% increase in housing starts. The activity maintenance and renovation also increases of 1% in volume and profits “of the dynamism of the work of the energy performance of dwellings, which show an increase of 2%.
Activity geographical homogeneous
The increase in activity has been in all the trades with a progressing between 1 and 2%, and in particular to roofing-plumbing, heating and electricians. In contrast, the activity decelerates to the masonry, which recorded a growth of 1 % (i.e. 1.5 index points compared to the previous quarter). The numbers of Capeb also show that the activity increase is more pronounced for firms with 10 to 20 employees (+2% compared to the 1st quarter of 2016) than for those with fewer than 10 employees. However, the growth is more moderate than in the last quarter of 2016 (0.5%) and this regardless of the size of the company.
Although the activity is resumed in a majority of the region, the inequalities are to be noted. Thus, the Western regions : Brittany, pays-de-Loire and New Aquitaine, stood out with growths ranging between 3 and 3.5%. Conversely, activity stagnated in the Hauts-de-France and decreases in Burgundy-Franche-Comté (-0,5%). In other regions, although the activity is always positive, we note a decline compared to the previous quarter. This is the case for the Ile-de-France (-0.5 point), the Big East and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (-1 point).
Order books are progressing…
The number of days of order books continues to grow, and their renewal increases for all businesses. The order books represent in the 1st quarter of 2017, 86 work-days, or 10 more than in the 1st quarter of 2016. Regarding the cash, 28% of companies are state of needs (compared to 45% in the previous quarter). For 55%, it is higher than 10,000 euros. Capeb, however, stresses that “the cash needs are still important, representing on average 20 000 € at the beginning of April 2017 (same amount as in April 2016, but the € 4,000 more than in January 2017)“.
For almost half of businesses (48%), cash-flow difficulties come from the extension of time of payment of the customers. For 25%, it is unpaid. The third origin of cash-flow problems for the decrease in activity (23%).
… the job also
Finally, Capeb reveals that wage employment in enterprises of the CONSTRUCTION industry with fewer than 20 employees rose 0.1%, after more than two years of declines. It therefore establishes in the 4th quarter of 2016 to 688.370 employees in companies with fewer than 20 employees (against 687.772 in Q4 2015).